Watch Out For Falling Bricks!

Every year, our children's Head of School chooses a theme for the year. This year, the theme he chose is based on the book of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. So, like any good student, I reread the book of Nehemiah over the summer. I love the story because it demonstrates triumphant in the face of adversity. It encourages my heart to be steadfast. I felt rejuvenated after reading it. Then, I filed it away. I tucked those nuggets into my heart for just the right moment.

That moment came just a couple of weeks ago. The moment had nothing to do with the school's yearly theme, however, it had everything to do with a battle that is being waged at my own "wall." For the past few months, our household has been under attack. The attack has been both a spiritual one and an earthly one. My husband's business has been targeted, his integrity has been questioned and our family and our home have been mocked and threatened. What once could have completely destroyed us, now could not because we are grounded in the truth that "no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication [fn] from me, declares the LORD." (Isaiah 54:17, ESV)

The Holy Spirit always has the ability to show up at just the right time, doesn't He? On one particularly rough morning, a dear friend of mine texted me to say that she heard the latest news from her husband and wanted to make sure I was okay. My response to her was this, "I have a lot of emotions, most of which are ugly and not very godly at all! Working through it in my heart...clearly affecting my temper and my mood :-(." I was being honest. There was no sense in lying because God knew what my heart was feeling anyway. I was mad. I was frustrated. I was sad. My flesh wanted to scream at people. My flesh wanted to blast out an incredibly ugly email. My flesh wanted to get in the car and pound on someone's door. I was at my wit's end and I had had enough of this. My poor husband, bless him, was enduring his own struggles and emotions about it all and I was trying to be a pillar for him, but every so often, my pillar started leaning. And but for the Holy Spirit that day, my pillar may have crumpled.

As I sat there stewing in my emotional moment, I came across Nehemiah 4:14. It says, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes." (ESV) 

Okay, God, I said, I am listening. What are you trying to tell me?

I opened up a book that I was reading at the time, The Whole Bible Story (a novel-like explanation of the whole Bible in plain English) by Dr. William H. Marty, and wouldn't you know it, the subtitle of the chapter was "Nehemiah and the Walls of Jerusalem." I could have hugged the neck of the Holy Spirit at that moment.

As I reread the account of all that took place during the rebuilding of the walls, the words jumped off the pages at me. Nehemiah also faced internal and external opposition during this season. Sanballat and Tobiah were going around mocking Nehemiah and the Israelites as they worked, Sanballat and Tobiah were mocking Nehemiah's leadership and they recruited Shemaiah to tell Nehemiah that Sanballat and Tobiah were going to kill him and that he needed to hide inside the temple (it was sinful for Nehemiah to enter into the temple). Sanballat and Tobiah were bad enough, but Nehemiah also had Jewish traitors among his ranks. I am sure Nehemiah felt many emotions during this time, however, scripture recounts on more than one occasion Nehemiah crying out to God in prayer. He remained completely focused on the task that God had given him to do even with all that was going on around him.

Would it be possible for me to do that? Would I be able to humbly serve the Lord even with all that was being said and done in my own camp?
Two weeks ago, I might have said No! I clearly wanted to be strong in the face of adversity, but honestly, I am human and live in the flesh more than I care to admit.

It has been only through prayer and the gifts of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, See Galatians 5:22-23) that my emotions have softened. I didn't accomplish this peace without sinning. As I said, God knows my heart and therefore I cannot keep my thoughts from Him, but I was able to better control my flesh. Even my words written here today are kinder than they would have been two weeks ago. How you may ask? Because through this whole ordeal, I have watched how my faith has been tested and proved. I have watched my marriage be strengthened. I have witnessed God's provision in lean times. And, I have witnessed God's powerful hand at work in the plans He has laid. 

I would not wish these adversities on anyone, but in the end, I know that the harvest will come and that He is doing this "so all who see this miracle will understand what it means - that it is the Lord who has done this." (Isaiah 41:20, NLT) And like Nehemiah, our wall will be rebuilt so that many will see and hear how it was God who did the work, not us.

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

Related Posts

2 Comments


Jenni - June 4th, 2014 at 11:28am

The Isaiah verse is one I will tuck away for my children when they face their own storms. Thank you for the encouragement!

Recent

Archive

 2015 (42)
 February (1)

Categories

Tags

#Emerge #LiveUnashamed #TurnOffTheDark 'Tis the Season 1 Corinthians 13 1 Peter 3:18 1 Timothy 1:12-16 180 the documentary 1973 1and3 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 2015 2016 Vote 2016 40th Birthday 62nd National Day of Prayer 63rd National Day of Prayer 8 A Few Thoughts About the Starbucks Red Cup A Generation in Crisis A Savior is Born A Shining Star Aaron Abbott and Costello Abraham Acts 16:31 Adultery Advent Calendars Advent Devotional Advent Wreath Advent Agape Alabaster Jar Alaska Airlines Albaster Jar Albie Pearson All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten American Church Ami Chapman Anglican Church Annie the Movie Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Ascension Ash Wednesday Ashley Madison Asma Al-Assad Aurora Auror Austin & Ally Autumn Awaken Band-Aids Baptism of the Holy Spirit Barak Bashar Al-Assad Bathsheba Be a Voice for the Voiceless Beautiful Gate Being Fed Beirut Attacks Bethel Music Bethseda Better Days Are Ahead Bible Fellowship Bible Museum Bible Study Bible Billy Graham Bishop TD Jakes Bitter Cup Blogger Boaz Bobbie Houston Boko Haram Born In A Manger Boston Marathon Bride BringBackOurGirls Brittany Maynard Burdens Busyness C.H. Spurgeon Caleb Castille Calling Canada Casting Crowns Catherine Mullins Change Charles H. Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon Charleston Church Shooting Charleston Chasing the Dragon Chick-fil-A Chicken Child Choose What is Better Christ-follower Christine Caine Christmas All Year Long Christmas Christy Nockels Church Climb a Tree Coffee Bar Colossians 3:13 Comfort Zone Comfortable Community Confirmation Content Cool Christianity Coop Corrie ten Boom Country Club Craving God Ministries Creation Creator Cross Crown of Thorns D.C. DIY DOMA Dads and Daughters Dads Daily Devotional for Lent Daily Devotional Dallas Damascus Dandelions Darkness Darlene Zscheh Daughters Of the Deep Daughters Days of Elijah Deborah Defiance Deliverance Democrat Demon Possessed Man Dennis Bratcher Desensitization Deuteronomy Devotional for Lent Devotional Disorder Dominican Republic Don't Act Like a Chicken Donald Trump Doubt Dr. Tony Evans Dry Bones Dylann Roof ED Commercials Earthquake Easter Eight Practical Tips Election 2016 Election Elephant in the Room Elohim Emanuel A.M.E. Church Emanuel AME Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge Emerging: Out of the Shadows of Voluntary Darkness Emerging Emily Lett Empty Tomb Encounters Entertainment Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 6:12 Epiphany Erin Olson Erin Olson Dallas Erin Olson Sandalfeet Erin Olson Erin and Scott Olson Erin Esau Esperanza International Evangelism Explosion Evangelism Exodus 1:17 Ezekiel FORGIVEN If we are forgiven why can’t we forgive? How you can know if you are living in unforgive Facebook Live Facebook Faith Fall Family Relationships Family Fasting Father's Day Father's Day Festival of Unleavened Bread Fetter Firing Squad First Fruits First Great Awakening For Your Glory and For Me Forever 21 Forever Forgiveness - Unforgiveness : Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness - Unforgiveness: Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness Bible Study Forgivenes Forgivness Four Friends Friendship Friends Fruits of the Spirit Fruits Fruit Galatians 5:22-23 Garden of Gethsemane Gather Your Neighbors Gendercide General Revelation Genesis 3:15 Gentleness George Zimmerman Gerasenes GetOurGirlsBack Gideon Gifts Give Credit To Whom Credit Is Due Give Gluten-Free God With Us God is Love God is With Us God is good God's Not Dead God's Will God's Word God Golden Chord Good Friday Goodness Grace Greg Laurie HIS Bridge Builders Habbakuk Haitian Earthquake Haiti Happy New Year Harvest America 2016 Harvest America Harvest What Does it Mean? Harvest Hate He is Risen Healing Heaven Kissed the Earth Hebrews 10:14 Hebrews 10:24-25 Hebrews 12:1 Heroes of the faith Hillary Clinton Hillsong United Hipster Christianity His Redeemer Lives His Revelation Holy Spirit Holy Week Homeschool Home Hope Defined Hosanna in the Highest House of Prayer Human trafficking Hurricane I Can Only Imagine I Can ISIS Immanuel Impatience In N Out Instagram Intercession Intercessory prayer Isaac Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah Israel It Takes A Village It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark Jack Graham Jackie Pullinger Jacob Jael James MacDonald Jehovah-Jireh Jen Hatmaker Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah Jerry-Maguire Jessie Jesus Movement Jesus Revolution Jesus is the Reason Jesus is the reason for the season Jesus' miracles Jesus' will Jesus Jim Cymbala Job 23:10 Job Joel Osteen John 10:10 John 14:6 John 15:1 John 3:16 John 8:12 John Hagee Join With The Angels Jonah Joy To The World Joy Judge Deborah Karen Wheaton Kari Jobe Kickstarter Kids Ramp Kindness King David King Herod King Hezekiah Kingdom Community Kirk-Cameron Lakewood Church Laodiceans Laodicea Las Vegas Leadership Lent Daily Devotional Lent Devotional Lenten Devotional Lenten Season Lent Let it Be Jesus Light In the Dark Light of the World Light Lioness Arising Lisa Bevere Listen to Him Liv and Maddie Live Unashamed Living Under an Open Heaven Lord's Prayer Lord's Supper Lot's wife Love Luke 10:42 Luke 11 Luke 2:46 Luke 2:7 Majestic Inspirations Majesty Malachi 1:2 Manchester Mandisa Manna Marathon Marilyn Monroe Mary Anoints Jesus Mary Magdalene Mary and Martha Matthew 12:21 Matthew 20 Matthew 21 Matthew 28:19 Matthew 5:9 Matthew 7:24-27 Mat May 7th May 7 Mike Fechner Miracles From Heaven Miracles Missions Moms Mom Mordecai Moses Mother's Day Motherhood Motrin Movies Museum of the Bible Museum Music Muslim My Hope America with Billy Graham My Hope America Names of God Narrow Gate Narrow Path National Day of Prayer National Prayer Walk Your Neighborhood National Prayer Walk Nehemiah Neighborhood New Beginnings New Year NewSpring Worship Niagara Falls Nigerian Schoolgirls Nigeria No Longer Slaves Notes Obedience Oceans Of Mess and Moxie Office Shooting Olive Branch Olive Oil Olson On the Day of the Solar Eclipse One Thing is Necessary One Year Later Open Heaven Operation Christmas Child Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Palm Sunday Parables Parents Pareto Principle Paris Attacks Paris Passion Passover Pastors Patience Peace On Earth Pecking Order Pentecost Perfect Timing Peter Pick up Your Cross Planned Parenthood Podcaster Podcasts Podcast Pool of Bethesda PowerPoint Praise you in the Storm Praise Prayer Closet Prayer Room Prayer Works Pray Preparing for the Harvest Presence of God President Obama Presidential Race Prestonwood Baptist Church Prestonwood Devotionals Prestonwood Easter Prestonwood Pregnancy Center Prestonwood Women's Ministry Prestonwood Priceless Priscilla Shirer Pro-gay Prodigal Son Promised Land Proverbs 10:12 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 31 Psalm 118:1 Psalm 121 Psalm 31:19 Queen Esther Race Racism Rahab Raised to Life Rashness Red Cup Reinhard Bonnke Repent Republican Repurpose Reset 2016 Revelation 4:8 Revelation Rick Santorum Robert Fulghum Robin Hill Lane Robin Williams Roe v. Wade Romans 4:7-8 Romans 8:28 Ronnie W. Floyd Rooster Ruth SCOTUSA SYATP 2015 SYATP Sabbatical Year Sabbatical Samaritan's Purse Same-Sex Marriage San Bernardino Sandafeet Sandalfeet Blog Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Minsitries Sandalfeet Santa Claus Santa Satan Scarlet cord Scott Olson Dallas Scott Olson Scott and Erin Olson Season Second Coming of Christ Second Great Awakening See You At The Pole Self-control Senior Adults Senior Church Goers September 11 Serve Sex trafficking Sexual Abuse Shame Share the Message Shifting the Entertainment Atmosphere Sifting Silence Silent Night Simeon Simon Simplify the Season Sisera Sit At His Feet: Choose What is Better Sit At His Feet: Choosing What is Better Sit At His Feet Social Media Sodom Solar Eclipse Solomon Sound The Trumpets Special Revelation Spenser Olson Spirit Rising Spiritual Atmosphere Spiritual Food Spiritual Needs Spiritual Orphans the Book Spiritual Orphans: A Generation in Crisis Spiritual Orphans Spiritual Warning Signals Sprint Stand United Star of Hope Starbucks Start Serving Stop Complaining Stay Gold Stepping Out of the Boat Stormie Omartian Storms Storytellers Stress Strongholds Supreme Court ruling Surrender Syrian Conflict Syria TD Jakes Temple Construction Temple Temptation Testimony Thankfulness Thankful Thankgiving Thanksgiving The American Humanist Association The Gathering The Great Commission The Katinas The King is Among Us The Mission of Motherhood The Ramp The Sisterhood The Tabernacle The Waiting Place The Weeping Prophet Theophany Third Child This I Beiieve Thomas S. Kidd Three Wise Men Time with God Timing Tony Evans Trafficking Transfiguration Trayvon Martin Triumphal Entry Twelve Days of Christmas Unashamed Unbelief Unforgiveness United 2015 Uzzah VBS 2012 VBS Vacation Bible School Valentine's Day Vessel Vicky Valle Victor's Crown Virginia Grounds Virtual Academy Voice Institute Voluntary Darkness War Room Washington We Are Called to Forgive Weekend Project Weeping Prophet Whale What If What's in a Name Wheat and Weeds Who's on First? Wide Gate Wide Path Will You Stay Silent? Wise Men Woman at the Well Woman-at-the-well Woodlawn Word for the Year Word of God Word of Life Works Worship Music Worship Writing in the Sand Wubble Bubble Ball Wubble Bubble Yahweh Yes You Can You Are Not the Boss of You Your Love For Us Youth Zacchaeus Zechariah 9 Zechariah abortion adoption authenticity author baby names blog blood moons category 5 hurricane child abuse child trafficking children conversation depression divorce family family vision statement family mission statement stay-at-home mome flu epidemic flu vaccine flu forgiveness four blood moons fruit of the Spirit garth brooks governor abbott hand of God hand-of-god heroines hope housewarming shower hurricane harvey kinsman Redeemer lost lukewarm marriage media ministry mobile sonograms mustard seed myhopeamerica.org nasa nineveh orphans orphan pandemic parable of the mustard seed parenting peace persecution prayer prestonwood baptist choir pro-choice pro-life prodigals prophecy pythonic-spirits python radical obedience radical reconciliation revival sadness sharethemessage.org spiritual-warfare steps of salvation stomach virus thanks the Bible the Seed the gift of conversation theatre shooting this blood time in His presence tragedy trials trust unanswered prayers unplanned pregnancy waiting widow's oil workplace ministry